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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP3961 Protest and Social Movements

20 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr Maria Rovisco

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits at Level 1 and 2 (40 in total) from a social science related discipline or the appropriate discovery theme.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module you will have the opportunity to examine protest and social movements in Britain, Europe and the USA. We will be looking at both contemporary and historical movements. The module will enable you to look at whether or not protest is rational, what effect protest might have on the identities of the participants, and the various ways in which protest and social movements have changed over the years, and other theories of social movements. You will be able to study protest and social movements such as Black civil rights in the USA, feminism, environmentalism, the peace movement, transnational social movements, and urban riots in Britain between 1980 and 2001.Contact: Dr Maria Rovisco


On completion of this module, students will:

- have an in depth knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical approaches to the sociology of protest, social movements and riots, and an in depth knowledge and understanding of selected protests and social movements in Britain and the USA;
- be able to use sociological theories to interpret selected empirical materials about protest and social movements in Britain and the USA;
- have the ability to analyse, criticise and evaluate theoretical approaches in comparison with each other and with reference to examples of protest and social movements;
- have achieved the above objectives through the application and further development of their transferable skills of sociological analysis, verbal and written communication skills.

Skills outcomes
Oral and written presentation skills, research skill, IT skills.


Functionalist theories of social movements
Symbolic interactionist analyses of social movements
Mass society theories of social movements
Rational choice and resource mobilisation theory
The arguments of Habermas, Touraine and Melucci as they refer to social movements
Transnational Social Movements
Sociological accounts of urban riots
Black civil rights in the USA
The peace movement
Urban riots in Britain.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 41 hours preparing for lectures
- 60 hours preparing for tutorials
- 60 hours preparing for assessment
- 18 hours on independent research.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar attendance/participation, presentations in seminars.

In relation to the essay it is recommended that students complete:
1) A proposal of which theories they shall use and which protest events or movement they intend to examine.
2) A first draft of some sections of the essay before the end of teaching.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment5 short assignments of 500 words10.00
Essay5,000 words90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/08/2019


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